US Congress Passes HRes128


VIDEO: US House Passes a Resolution That Sanctions Some Ethiopian Gov’t Officials, HR128.

The United States Congress on Tuesday passed a human rights-centered resolution against the Ethiopian government amongst others calling for the respect of human rights and inclusive governance.

HRW and advocacy groups back H. Res. 128

Human Rights Watch (HRW) and a network of advocacy groups based in the U.S. have tasked the Congress to vote for the resolution to send a signal to the government that respect for and opening the political space was non-negotiable. Some of the reasons they advanced included:

1) H. Res. 128 is a signal of support for the youth in the country who have organized to peacefully demand justice and democracy and have paid a terrible price in terms of loss of life, injury and arbitrary detention. Accountability for the human rights violations that have occurred over the last 3 years will be an essential step towards genuine reconciliation and is a key demand from the protesters.

2) H. Res. 128 contains clauses that could strengthen the hand of the Prime Minister vis-a-vis less responsive segments within the EPRDF party coalition structure, requiring negotiation with the forces that control the country’s security apparatus, intelligence and the economic sectors.

3) H. Res. 128 contains clauses that call on the State Department and USAID to develop a comprehensive strategy to support improved democracy and governance in Ethiopia.

4) H. Res. 128 contains clauses that call on the Secretary of State and Secretary of Treasury to apply appropriate sanctions on individuals and organizations responsible for gross human rights.

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